Saturday, December 13, 2008

L A S V E G A S - 12/11-13/2008


I am on my way to Albuquerque, after staying in Vegas for a HS presentation and a non NPD portfolio review day at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies Performing and Visual Arts.

I arrived in Las Vegas on the evening of the 11th, and drove up to North Las Vegas where I stayed with my sister Shannon and her husband, Don (and their 5 month old boy-fetus-who-has-yet-to-be-officially-named). They live about 20 minutes from the strip (or two hours depending on how much rush hour traffic you get stuck in.) I always enjoy the flight into Vegas, seeing the strip from the air - and the drive to their house which can include a drive up the strip as well.

If you are lucky, a drive on the strip can include not only a great view of the casinos, but also a parade of police vehicles on their way to save the governor from a suspicious, powder-coated package and a glimpse of some Sin City skin (see photos below.)

On Friday, Shannon and I visited the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art where we saw the American Modernism exhibit featuring Georgia O'Keeffe (also known to the hard-of-hearing as "Jo Jo Keeffe" :-). It was worth seeing - as was the lobby of the Bellagio (featuring the glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly) and the atrium which included a great Christmas display:

A detail of a scale model of the new City Center, a grouping of high rise buildings on the Strip:

Some additional Strip skin (Sex on Wheels!):

A sweet ride on the strip:

A small (northern) version of the famous Las Vegas sign on the strip:

A great (FILLING) lunch was had at Jason's Deli:

After lunch, Shannon and I toured the Neon Boneyard - an outdoor "museum" filled with neon signs from Vegas' Ratpack heyday. It was basically a dumping ground for the old signs, but was extremely interesting to explore - filled with great text and textures. Below are some of my favorites:

In the evening I took a trip down to The Fremont Street Experience - a street of casinos downtown, covered by a canopy of LED screens. I had my tarot cards red by a psychic and took some photos of the neon - some of which has been restored by the Neon Boneyard Museum and re-exhibited for posterity. I collaged some of the signs into the image below:

Image from the psychic's cart: